Gallbladder bile from patients with cholesterol stones and control patients without cholesterol stones was analysed for the relative concentrations of bile salts, phospholipids, and cholesterol. It was not possible to distinguish stone-forming from control biles when these were plotted on triangular coordinates. There was a significant increase in the dihydroxy: trihydroxy bile salt ratio in the patients with cholesterol gallstones. The maximum cholesterol holding capacity for the bile salts was determined and no difference could be detected in the ability of the bile salts from either cholesterol stone-containing and control bile samples to dissolve cholesterol.
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